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					                                           Born With A Veil   1




                        BORN WITH A VEIL

                                by

                            Kari Catton




 2003
Kari Catton
958 N. 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62702
217-899-9732
kari@ampka.com




                                1
                                                                     Born With A Veil     2


                                    Born With a Veil


Setting:               Small river town in the South Carolina mountains


Time:                  1934
Act I
                       Scene 1 Dream.
                       Scene 2 Early Morning.
                       Scene 3 Noon
                       Scene 4 Midnight

Act II
                       Scene 1 Dream.
                       Scene 2 The next day.



Cast of Characters:

Shaman Shopierre       A Medicine Man

Selena                 Mother of Ferris and Cal, in her late 30’s

Ferris                 Selena’s daughter, age 13

Cal                    Selena’s son, age 13

Opal                   A friend, around 13, a little more sophisticated than the twins.

Beryl                  A friend, around 13, a little less sophisticated than the twins.

Rogene                 Beryl’s mother, in her 40’s

Gar                    The tavern owner’s son, 19-31 years of age.




           This project was partially funded through City Arts, a program of the
            Springfield Area Arts Council and the City of Springfield Illinois.



                                               2
                                                                     Born With A Veil       3


                                            Act I

                                          Scene 1
                        (SELENA’s dream. Lights are blue. SHOPIERRE sits cross-
                        legged center stage in a trance. A lighted candled is held in his
                        one hand, a piece of ripped paper he holds in the other hand.
                        SELENA enters quietly. Stops. Watches.)

                                     SHOPIERRE
I know you are there, Selena. (Pause.) I feel your heart. It is broken.

                        (SELENA takes a step away. SHOPIERRE holds up the piece of
                        paper.)

Take her words.

                                          SELENA
I don’t want them.

                                  SHOPIERRE
Moonstone and amethyst are a powerful combination.

                                          SELENA
                                       (turning away)
I don’t want it!!

                                        SHOPIERRE
Accept it!

                                          SELENA
I can’t accept it!

                                        SHOPIERRE
You are afraid.

                                          SELENA
I am not afraid you!

                                        SHOPIERRE
It is not me that you fear. It is the one born with a veil.

                        (SELENA exits. SHOPIERRE blows out the candle.)

                                       End of Scene 1

                                           Scene 2


                                              3
                                                                   Born With A Veil        4



                      (Early morning. FERRIS enters from the screen door. Her herb
                      garden is LCS. She crosses to the garden. She spies a plant
                      wrapped in burlap beside her garden. She looks to see if anyone
                      is around. She reads a small tag.)


                      (FERRIS smiles and unwraps to find an aloe plant. She sets it
                      and removes a tin box from underneath the dirt. She opens it and
                      removes an old book. She thumbs through the pages and finds
                      the page she is looking for. She compares the book and the
                      plant.)

                                        SELENA
                                  (calling from inside)
Ferris?

                                        FERRIS
Out here.

                      (Ferris quickly stashes the book back in the box and returns it to
                      her hidden space. The plant is left open. SELENA enters in a
                      robe.)

                                            SELENA
There you are. Is it a special day today?

                                        FERRIS
Is it?

                                      SELENA
Could it be that someone I know is having a birthday today?

                                        FERRIS
Cal.

                                        SELENA
And my very sweet daughter.

                      (SELENA gives her a big hug.)

Happy birthday, Ferris.

                                        FERRIS
Thanks.



                                              4
                                                                   Born With A Veil        5


                                         SELENA
I can’t believe it was thirteen years ago that you two little bundles were born. Oh, you
were so small-

                                      FERRIS
And I wasn’t breathing, but Aunt Helen got me to breathe, right?

                                      SELENA
That’s right. How are you feeling today?

                                        FERRIS
So far, I’m good.

                                        SELENA
That mustard plaster must be working.

                                        FERRIS
It burns my skin.

                                     SELENA
Just use more shortening. I’m making a big birthday breakfast for you and Cal.

                                        FERRIS
With eggs?

                                        SELENA
Pancakes.

                                        FERRIS
Cal’s favorite.

                                      SELENA
I have only one egg, Ferris. When I can afford more eggs, I’ll make you a big birthday
breakfast with eggs.

                                        FERRIS
Scrambled?

                                      SELENA
Scrambled it is. Are you ready for your present? I have something very special for
you.

                      (SELENA reaches in her bathrobe pocket and removes a folded
                      handkerchief.)




                                            5
                                                                   Born With A Veil      6


                                          FERRIS

For me?

                                          SELENA
All for you.

                       (FERRIS opens it carefully. It’s a necklace with a blue stone.)

                                          FERRIS
Oh, it’s beautiful!

                                          SELENA
It’s lapis.

                                          FERRIS
Lapis? Like yours?

                                        SELENA
                                 (touching her necklace)
Just like mine.

                                          FERRIS
I love it!!

                       (FERRIS gives her mother a hug. SELENA helps FERRIS put it
                       around her neck.)

                                          SELENA
It’s a good luck stone, to protect you.

                                          FERRIS
Protect me from what?

                                          SELENA
From …(stops)

                                      FERRIS
Does it protect you from nightmares? You were having another nightmare this
morning. You called out as if you were afraid.

                                          SELENA
I did?

                                          FERRIS
Do you remember it? Your dream?


                                            6
                                                                  Born With A Veil    7


                                       SELENA
No.

                                   FERRIS
Dreams have meanings. Sometimes the colors you see in your dream mean that-

                                      SELENA
Where did you hear something like that?

                                       FERRIS
I read it…(covering up) …at school-

                                    SELENA
It’s nonsense. Dreams mean nothing. Colors mean nothing. Do you understand me?

                                       FERRIS
                                       (slowly)
Yes.

                                       SELENA
Tonight at the party-

                                       FERRIS
What party?

                                       SELENA
At the tavern. We’re having a party for you and Cal.

                                       FERRIS
We are?

                                        SELENA
I’d like you and Cal to come down to the tavern tonight and we’ll have dinner together.
I’m saving you the biggest catfish in the freezer. I have to work until midnight-

                                       FERRIS
On our birthday, you have to go to work?

                                       SELENA
I’m sorry, Ferris. They’re shorthanded with Mrs. Burnette being so sick and all.
Rogene and I have to run everything.

                                      FERRIS
What about her son, Gar? Can’t he help?




                                           7
                                                                    Born With A Veil   8


                                       SELENA
Gar? Gar couldn’t cut a potato. I have to go. We’ll meet tonight and have a party. It’ll
be fun. We could have that pie that Mrs. Everett brought over, as a thank you for Cal.
It’s peach.

                                        FERRIS
I don’t like peach pie. Gee, the way people are carrying on, you’d think Cal was
president or something. They’re calling him the Wonder Boy.

                                       SELENA
Wonder Boy?

                                          FERRIS
After saving that Everett boy’s life yesterday. Cal knew he was choking.

                                        SELENA
I’m grateful Cal helped the boy, but to believe that Cal knew the boy was choking is
ridiculous.

                                        FERRIS
If you’re psychic-

                                       SELENA
Psychic?

                                         FERRIS
People say Cal’s got the psychic intuitions, like Aunt Helen did.

                                       SELENA
Cal does not have any intuitions.

                                        FERRIS
He could.

                                       SELENA
                                     (getting up)
He can’t! (noticing aloe plant) Where did this come from?

                                        FERRIS
It was just out here this morning. Here’s the note. Happy Birthday. Aloe plant.

                                       SELENA
                                       (alarmed)
It’s from him! Was he here?




                                            8
                                                                  Born With A Veil     9


                                        FERRIS
Who?

                                      SELENA
That Shaman. Listen to me, Ferris, very carefully. No talking to strangers today. Do
you understand me? Any strangers come around today, you get in the house.

                                        FERRIS
But who-

                      (SELENA grabs FERRIS by the arm.)

                                       SELENA
Just do as I say!

                      (FERRIS wheezes loudly and cannot breath. SELENA helps her
                      to the bench, sits beside her, holding her until their breathing
                      rhythm becomes the same.)

Breathe. Breathe slowly. Relax. Slowly. You’re fine.

                      (FERRIS recovers breathing easily.)

There. Are you better? I’ll make you some tea.

                                        FERRIS
Chamomile tea, from my garden.

                                       SELENA
Why chamomile?

                                     FERRIS
Chamomile helps the lungs. The healing powers of chamomile…

                                        SELENA
Healing po-! I knew letting you growing this garden was a mistake. You told me you
were growing these to sell as an herb garden!

                                       FERRIS
I do want to sell them. We could earn extra money. We could have eggs all the time.

                                        SELENA
But you aren’t going to sell them on the pretense that they have healing powers.

                                        FERRIS
Aunt Helen did.


                                           9
                                                                  Born With A Veil 10


                                         SELENA
                                   (holding Ferris’ chin)
Now you listen to me, young lady. Don’t you believe one word about psychic intuitions
or healing herbs. It’s not for you. For your own good, please …do as I tell you!

                                       FERRIS
I will. I will.

                                       SELENA
Promise me.

                                        FERRIS
                                 (crossing her fingers)
I promise.

                                       SELENA
Good. (giving Ferris a big hug) I love you, Ferris. Wear your new necklace. Take
good take of it. Don’t lose it. Now, how about that birthday breakfast?

                                       FERRIS
Fine.

                      (SELENA exits. FERRIS waits until she’s gone and gets out her
                      book from the hiding place. OPAL enters.)

                                        OPAL
Hi!! Happy birthday, Ferris!!

                                       FERRIS
Where were you this morning?

                                      OPAL
Oh, my stupid mom. I had to babysit. Every time I have plans, I have to stay home.
Mothers. Sometimes I wonder why we have ‘em.

                                       FERRIS
Me, too. We’ll go to the quarry tomorrow and look for stones.

                      (OPAL offers a small packet wrapped in wax paper.)

What is this?

                                        OPAL
A birthday present, silly. Open it! You’ll see.

                      (FERRIS opens it carefully. It’s a folded piece of paper.)


                                          10
                                                                      Born With A Veil 11



                                         FERRIS
Paper?

                                          OPAL
It’s a test!

                                         FERRIS
A test? But it’s summertime.

                                          OPAL
It’s a psychic test.

                                        FERRIS
Thanks, Opal. It’s a nice gift. Very thoughtful. But…

                                          OPAL
But what?

                                          FERRIS
Cal is the one that should be taking this test. He’s the one that saved that boy.

                                         OPAL
You can take it together. We’ll see if both of you have any intuitions.

                                         FERRIS
Where did you get it?

                                   OPAL
From one of my dad’s magazines. Come on, it’d be fun.

                                          FERRIS
Look at this. (getting out the aloe plant and tucking test in book)

                                          OPAL
You’re changing the subject.

                                        FERRIS
It appeared here this morning, out of nowhere.

                                          OPAL
You’re gonna take that test, Ferris.

                                        FERRIS
It’s an aloe plant. Helps with burns and cuts.



                                            11
                                                                   Born With A Veil 12


                                          OPAL
Is it in your Aunt’s book?

                                     FERRIS
Yes. Where should I plant it? How about over here by the basil. There’s room.

                                          OPAL
Basil could be one of our best sellers. So many people cook with it.

                                       FERRIS
How about planting it next to the peppermint?

                                       OPAL
Hmm. Another big seller. (pointing to FERRIS necklace.) That’s nice.

                                         FERRIS
My mom gave it to me. It’s lapis.

                                          OPAL
Is that stone in your Aunt’s book?

                                         FERRIS
Oh, I didn’t think to look at that.

                         (FERRIS flips through the book and finds a page. OPAL sits
                         next to her.)

“Composed of Lazurite”, whatever that is. “Stone of the Sumerians and Egyptians.
Navy blue in color. “Lapis is an important gemstone in subduing the Third Eye, the
psychic eye.” Subduing the third eye.

                                          OPAL
What does that mean?

                                      FERRIS
I don’t know. I don’t know what most of this book means.

                                         OPAL
                                   (taking the book)
Too bad we can’t figure out what this first page means.

                                         FERRIS
Yeah, it’s ripped out.

                                          OPAL
But you can see part of the last sentence. See? (reading) “born with a veil.”


                                            12
                                                                    Born With A Veil 13



                           (CAL enters. He’s good looking and bigger than FERRIS.
                           FERRIS hides book.)

                                              CAL
Hey! Happy birthday!

                                             FERRIS
Happy birthday to you, too!

                                             OPAL
Happy birthday, Cal.

                           (CAL puts his hand to his forward and his other towards OPAL
                           to get a ‘read’ on her.)

                                             CAL
                                        (studying Opal)
Hmmm. I see the color pink.

                                             FERRIS
What are you doing?

                                             OPAL
Actually, my favorite color is white.

                                        CAL
White? Who has white as their favorite color?

                                             OPAL
It’s a nice clean color.

                                              CAL
It’s not a color at all.

                                             OPAL
Well, I like it!

                                             FERRIS
Leave her alone.

                           (BERYL enters.)


                                             BERYL
Hey, happy birthday, buddy boy!!!


                                               13
                                                                    Born With A Veil 14



                                            CAL
Hey, Beryl.

                                          BERYL
Gotcha something.

                                            CAL
Yeah?

                                         BERYL
 (digging in his pockets, putting his hands behind his back then presenting closed fists)
Which hand?

                        (CAL slaps BERYL’S left hand.)

Wrong! I get to keep it.

                                            CAL
Come on.

                                          BERYL
                                   (tossing it in the air)
Here ya go! It’s a buffalo nickel, 1918.

                                            CAL
Where’d you get it?

                                          BERYL
I traded for it. I had two 1919’s.

                                          CAL
It’s perfect. I don’t have a 1918. Thanks.

                                          BERYL
Happy birthday, runt.

                                         FERRIS
                                     (under her breath)
I’m not a runt.

                                          BERYL
Got a surprise for you, too.

                                          FERRIS
For me?


                                             14
                                                                  Born With A Veil 15


                        (BERYL digs in his back pockets and presenting two fists.
                        FERRIS picks his right hand. He opens it with nothing there.
                        FERRIS chooses the other hand. BERYL opens it and there’s
                        nothing there. BERYL quickly grabs her face and quickly kisses
                        her on the forehead. FERRIS quickly wipes her forehead.)

Stop it!

                                         BERYL
                                    (laughs with CAL)
I’ve been waiting all year to do that! Some surprise, huh?

                                        FERRIS
Very funny!

                                        BERYL
When’s your birthday, Opal?

                                          OPAL
                                  (putting up her hand)
Stay away from me!

                                       BERYL
Got a read on her, Cal? Do you see a handsome young man in her future?

                                            OPAL
Are there any around?

                                        BERYL
Hardy har-har.

                                            CAL
Her favorite color is white.

                                         BERYL
                                       (to OPAL)
Is it?

                                            OPAL
Yes.

                                        BERYL
My buddy here is always right!

                                            OPAL
He’s right? I told him my favorite color.


                                             15
                                                                  Born With A Veil 16



                                         CAL
                               (shrugging his shoulders)
I thought I saw pink.

                                         OPAL
You saw pink? What’s that mean?

                                          FERRIS
He’s trying to see your aura. It’s here in the book. Some psychics can see colors
around people.

                                    BERYL
Cal Shangrue, the Wonder Boy. He sees all and knows all!!!

                                         OPAL
You see auras now?

                                          CAL
I’m trying to.

                                     BERYL
He’s a hero, you know. Everyone in town is talking about how Cal saved that boy’s life
yesterday.

                                         OPAL
I’ve heard.

                                       CAL
                         (exchanging a look with FERRIS)
Well...maybe you’re exaggerating.

                                         BERYL
Exaggeratin’ nothin’! You took one look at him, worked your magic, and knew why he
wasn’t breathing. Just had it in your brain that the boy was choking. Just knew it! He’s
the best!

                                        FERRIS
If he was, he’d know there ain’t no such thing as a pink aura!

                                          CAL
There’s not?

                                        FERRIS
There’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet…



                                           16
                                                                    Born With A Veil 17


                                         BERYL
How do you know, Miss Smarty Pants?

                                        FERRIS
I read it.

                                          CAL
Maybe you’ve been reading too much of Aunt Helen’s book. Mama’ll skin you alive if
she ever knows you snitched it out of her trunk.

                                         FERRIS
             (closing book and putting it away next to the stump out of sight)
I didn’t snitch it. I borrowed it.

                                         CAL
You better put it away. Breakfast is almost ready.

                      (ROGENE enters.)

                                        ROGENE
Boy? You here?

                      (BERYL jumps up.)

                                         BERYL
Here, Mam.

                                       ROGENE
What did I tell you about leaving the house?

                                     BERYL
Nothing, Mam. You didn’t say nothing to me.

                                     ROGENE
You’re supposed to tell me where you’re going. Remember?

                                         BERYL
I told you. I was going to see Cal.

                                     ROGENE
But you didn’t say you was leaving now. I have to get to work. What’re you goin’ to
do today?

                                         BERYL
I’ll be with Cal.



                                           17
                                                                   Born With A Veil 18


                                        ROGENE
Well then, I’m only going to tell you this once. Are you listening to me?

                                        BERYL
Yes, mam. I’m listening.

                                        ROGENE
No throwing rocks, no gluing doorknobs, no stealing bubble gum, no mud pies, no
cleaning dishes, no fish, no worms, no snakes, no frogs, no toads in the toilet bowl, and
no stick forts in the living room, because someday Beryl, you may want to marry Opal
and she ain’t gonna want to marry you with such atrocious behavior. Do I make myself
clear?

                                     BERYL
Marry Opal? I thought I was gonna marry Ferris.

                                       ROGENE
She’s too sickly, dear.

                                         OPAL
I’m sick, now.

                                     BERYL
Hey Cal, can you see what color my mam is?

                                          CAL
What?

                                    BERYL
The Wonder Boy can see auras. Do you see her aura?

                                          CAL
                                       (hesitating)
Beryl-

                                       ROGENE
Really?

                                          CAL
No-

                                       ROGENE
Your Aunt Helen could see auras.

                                        FERRIS
She could?


                                           18
                                                                      Born With A Veil 19



                                      ROGENE
Oh yes, Helen was very good at seeing auras. She’d tell you your color.

                                          BERYL
What do you see, Cal?

                                         CAL
Well…it’s hard to tell….but I think….it’s…

                       (CAL gives a quick look to FERRIS who points to the blue in her
                       dress. She lips the word blue. OPAL notices the exchange.)

…it’s blue.

                                         ROGENE
Blue? My aura is blue?

                                           CAL
                               (looking to FERRIS quickly)
Yes.

                                         ROGENE
That’s right!

                                     BERYL
Hey, buddy boy, you’re right!!! Wonder boy!

                       (SELENA entering dressed for work.)

                                    SELENA
Breakfast is ready. Why, good morning, Rogene.

                                         ROGENE
Morning.

                                         SELENA
It’s going to be another hot day.

                                       ROGENE
I don’t look forward to cooking over that hot stove all day, I tell you that.

                                    SELENA
Have you had breakfast? I’ve made pancakes.




                                             19
                                                                  Born With A Veil 20


                                          ROGENE
Oh, I’m just fine, thank you.

                                     SELENA
You kids may go in and have pancakes. There should be enough.

                                            BERYL
I’m starved!

                       (Kids head in. FERRIS hesitates looking to the book that is not
                       put away in its hiding place.)

                                            SELENA
Go on, Ferris. I’ll be there in a minute.

                       (FERRIS exits.)

I’ve been meaning to talk to you, Rogene. Do you think I could have a party at the
tavern tonight?

                                          ROGENE
You run the place. I don’t see why not.

                                            SELENA
It’s their birthday today-

                                        ROGENE
Oh my lands! Their birthday! I can’t believe it. Seems like only yesterday, Helen came
hollering that you had gone in to labor. We stayed up all night just waiting and helping
with their birth. Oh, Helen was so proud of these two. I’ll make a big white birthday
cake for them. How does that sound?

                                            SELENA
Thank you, Rogene.

                                          ROGENE
How old are they now?

                                            SELENA
Thirteen.

                                     ROGENE
How old was Helen when she started, you know, showing signs?

                                            SELENA
Showing signs?


                                              20
                                                                   Born With A Veil 21



                                      ROGENE
Her psychic intuitions.

                                       SELENA
Oh, Rogene, that’s such a long time ago, I-

                                      ROGENE
It was about this age, wasn’t it?

                                      SELENA
I don’t remember.

                                      ROGENE
Is Cal is showing signs?

                                      SELENA
No.

                                      ROGENE
The whole town is talking about him and what he did yesterday for the Everett boy.
The whole town, Selena.

                                        SELENA
He just hit the boy on the back and saved him from choking.

                                     ROGENE
But no one knew he was choking. How did Cal know? Your sister could do that. She
knew what was wrong with people just by seeing them. She said she just got a feeling,
remember? Beryl says that Cal did the same. Got that feeling, that intuition.

                                      SELENA
Cal is not like Helen.

                                     ROGENE
And just now he said my aura was blue.

                                      SELENA
He did?

                                      ROGENE
Yes, and he was right. Helen told me I was blue a long time ago.

                                      SELENA
Doesn’t prove anything, Rogene.



                                          21
                                                                     Born With A Veil 22


                                        ROGENE
It could.

                                         SELENA
He’s doesn’t have the gift.

                                        ROGENE
Okay, okay, I’m just supposing, that’s all. (a moment passes) People are comparing
Cal with Helen. They say he could be the healer. Now, I know it’s something you’ve
put behind you, but people saw Cal save that boy. We haven’t had a healer in this town
for ten years. Nearest doctor is 40 miles away.

                                         SELENA
                                          (firmly)
Cal is not a healer.

                                        ROGENE
But what I don’t understand is that Ferris has the knack with her garden, just like Helen.
It’s a beautiful garden.

                                         SELENA
It’s not Ferris, either, Rogene. She’s normal.

                                      ROGENE
She’s been mighty busy growing this garden. I remember Helen when she began
growing her herb garden. Started out about this size and grew and grew. People came
from miles around to see her and buy the herbs. I’m sure you didn’t show Ferris how to
grow an herb garden. She had to learn it from somewhere. The Shaman helped Helen
and-.

                                        SELENA
                                  (stopping her quickly)
Please….

                                     ROGENE
                                 (after a moment)
He’s back, you know. I was hoping someone else’d tell you, but I saw him down by the
river.

                                        SELENA
I know he’s back. He left an aloe plant out here this morning, just as he left plants for us
years ago.

                                        ROGENE
Have you talked to him?



                                            22
                                                                     Born With A Veil 23


                                        SELENA
No!

                                       ROGENE
Just kinda coincidence that he’d be back and Cal’s showing signs and Ferris is growing
herbs. Maybe he’s back to teach them as he taught you and Helen.

                                        SELENA
Shopierre is not welcomed here. He knows that. He won’t be teaching anybody
anything! History is not repeating itself, Rogene!

                                        ROGENE
But if Cal has the gift, you cannot deny it. It will grow whether you want it to or not.

                                       SELENA
Helen died! You think I’m going to allow Cal and Ferris to be a part of something that
killed my sister? It was too much for her. I couldn’t save her!

                                        ROGENE
It wasn’t your fault, Selena.

                                      SELENA
It was my fault, Rogene. I should have seen it coming. I should have known. It
overwhelmed her.

                                     ROGENE
You can’t blame yourself for what happened to Helen.

                                       SELENA
People still look at me. They don’t say it, but I know they still blame me for what
happened.

                                       ROGENE
There is no blame on you. No blame on anyone, not even the Shaman. If you’re so
concerned keep a close eye on Cal. A close eye. And Ferris, too. Remember, I was
there for their birth. I know who was born with a veil.

                        (CAL and BERYL enter carrying their baseball glove, bat and
                        ball.)

                                           CAL
Thanks for breakfast.

                                     BERYL
Yeah. Good pancakes! I like them with jelly.



                                            23
                                                                Born With A Veil 24


                                         ROGENE
Where are you going?

                                      BERYL
To play some ball. Cal got a new baseball for his birthday.

                                            CAL
We’ll stay away from the river this time.

                                         ROGENE
I swear that river’s swallowed at least fifty baseballs.

                                       SELENA
Cal, I want to talk with you one minute before you go.

                                     ROGENE
Come on, Beryl, you can walk me part way to the tavern. See you in a few, Selena.

                                    SELENA
Thanks , Rogene. (to CAL) Sit down for a minute.

                       (ROGENE pushes BERYL out in front of her as they exit.)

                                       CAL
Now? I gotta get going. The game and all.

                                         SELENA
I know. Just for a minute.

                                             CAL
                                    (sitting impatiently)
What?

                                        SELENA
I can live without your back talk, young man.

                                            CAL
Sorry.

                                       SELENA
I want you to do something special for me today.

                                            CAL
Like what?




                                             24
                                                                   Born With A Veil 25


                                      SELENA
Keep an eye on things around here while I’m gone. Keep on eye on Ferris.

                                      CAL
Keep an eye on her, why? What’d she do?

                                         SELENA
It’s nothing she’s done. There is a stranger in town, a Shaman. His name is Shopierre
and he may come around and try to talk to you and Ferris. And I don’t want him to.

                                          CAL
How come?

                                         SELENA
He’ll just fill your head with nonsense, that’s why. I’m proud of you, Cal, for saving
that boy’s life yesterday but I don’t want you to think for one moment that you saved
him through any psychic intuitions or premonitions or anything like that. People are
talking, and you don’t want to give them the wrong impression. Do you understand
me?

                                         CAL
You mean using your intuitions to heal people.

                                        SELENA
That is exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t want anymore talk of it. I’m depending
on you, Cal.

                                        CAL
Does this have anything to do with Aunt Helen?

                                         SELENA
I don’t have time to explain it all now. Maybe tonight. For now, just don’t go too far
from home today.

                                          CAL
Okay.

                                       SELENA
Good. Good.


                             (Lights dim. End of Scene 2)




                                           25
                                                                   Born With A Veil 26


                                        Scene 3

                         (Noon. OPAL and FERRIS sit reading her book. CAL and
                         BERYL enter with a bat and ball.)

                                         OPAL
                                       (reading)
“The aura is the electromagnetic energy that emanates from all living things=”

                                        BERYL
Hiya, runt! What’s for lunch?

                                        FERRIS
I’m not a runt.

                                        BERYL
You are to me. Runt.

                                          CAL
Leave her alone, Beryl.

                         (CAL heads to the door followed by BERYL, however he pauses
                         when he hears what they are talking about.)

                                           OPAL
                                         (reading)
“The colors constitute a blueprint of a person’s personality.” Do you believe that?

                                        FERRIS
I don’t know. If Rogene is blue, her personality is nurturing. She’s a caregiver. She
serves others.

                                      OPAL
Right. You’ve been reading this book. Do you know all the colors?

                                        FERRIS
Most of them, I guess.

                                         OPAL
I wonder what color I am.

                                        FERRIS
Look under violet. What does it say?




                                           26
                                                                     Born With A Veil 27


                                           OPAL
                                         (reading)
Means “spiritually balanced.”

                                         FERRIS
I’d say you are violet.

                                   OPAL
Why? Do you see something around me? My light?

                                            CAL
                                 (trying to grab the book)
Put the book away.

                                         FERRIS
Get away. We’re busy.

                                           CAL
Busy with stuff you shouldn’t be.

                                          OPAL
Says who?

                                           CAL
Says me. Gimme the book.

                                         FERRIS
No! I’m reading it.

                                              OPAL
It’s really quite fascinating, Cal. It’s all in sections. Herbs and auras and healing stones
and dreams and colors and what they mean. Intuitions. We’re studying it.

                                      BERYL
Studying? Like in school? You’re sick.

                                         OPAL
Well, tell me then how Cal knew that boy was choking? He’s got to have intuitions like
the book says. Do you want to do a test to see if you have any psychic abilities?

                                           CAL
A test? What kind of a test?

                                          OPAL
I’m just dying to find out about it. You and Ferris should take it together. Test both of
you.


                                            27
                                                                        Born With A Veil 28


                                          BERYL
Cal’s the Wonder Boy!

                                           OPAL
Ferris could be, too!

                                       BERYL
She’s a girl! She can’t be the Wonder Boy!

                                          OPAL
Let’s do that psychic test. Where is it, Ferris?

                                          FERRIS
Opal…

                                            OPAL
It’s time to take the test. Let’s just see who has it….It’ll be fine.

                        (After a moment, FERRIS gets the test from her book.)

                                     BERYL
You can win this hands down, buddy boy!

                                            CAL
I don’t think we should.

                                           OPAL
Are you scared?

                                         CAL
Heck no! I just don’t think we should do it.

                                          OPAL
                             (taking the test from FERRIS)
Oh, come on. It’s not going to hurt anything. It’s just for fun. I need a deck of cards
for this test. Do you have any cards?

                                            CAL
They're inside.

                                           OPAL
Can we use them?

                                            CAL
Oh, all right.



                                              28
                                                                    Born With A Veil 29


                       (CAL exits.)

                                         BERYL
You’re going to get whooped, runt.

                                         FERRIS
I am not a runt.

                                          OPAL
Ferris knows more than you think.

                                         BERYL
Care to make a wager on that?

                                          OPAL
A wager?

                                        BERYL
A bet. If Cal wins, you give me a kiss. If Ferris wins, I’ll give you one.

                                          OPAL
You’re disgusting.

                       (CAL enters with the cards.)

                                          CAL
Here you go. (tossing them to Opal)

                                        OPAL
I’m going to pull out some cards here. The ace through five.

                                          CAL
Ace through five?

                                         OPAL
Yes. I’ll mix up the cards and hold one up. And then you’ll tell me what it is. Okay?

                                          CAL
Sounds easy enough.

                                         BERYL
Easy as pie for you, buddy boy!

                                       OPAL
Sit down and let’s see how many cards you can get right. Don’t face me. Ferris, you go
sit on the other side.


                                            29
                                                                     Born With A Veil 30


                                          FERRIS
I’ll just sit here for now.

                         (CAL sits down a little ways across from OPAL. FERRIS sits on
                         the bench.)

                                            CAL
Anytime.

                         (OPAL holds the cards on her lap and holds up first card. CAL
                         thinks a moment.)

                                            CAL
Two.

                                           OPAL
                                       (showing card)
Three.

                         (FERRIS quietly reacts to herself being right.)

                                            CAL
Darn.

                                           OPAL
It’s okay. You have to relax.

                         (OPAL holds up a second card. CAL thinks. FERRIS
                         quietly holds up four fingers.)

                                            CAL
Three.

                                           OPAL
Four.

                         (OPAL holds up a third card. CAL thinks. FERRIS
                         quietly holds up one finger. OPAL notices FERRIS holding up
                         her finger.)

                                            CAL
Two.

                                           OPAL
                                       (showing card)
Ace.


                                             30
                                                                  Born With A Veil 31



                      (OPAL holds up a fourth card. CAL thinks. FERRIS
                      holds up two fingers. OPAL watches FERRIS holding up her
                      fingers.)

                                           CAL
Five.

                                           OPAL
Two.

                                           CAL
Dang!

                                           OPAL
Just concentrate. Last one.

                      (OPAL holds up a fifth card. CAL thinks. FERRIS holds up five
                      fingers.)

                                           CAL
Five.

                                       FERRIS
Right!!

                                           CAL
It’s about time!

                                        OPAL
Five. That’s good, Ferris. (showing card) You knew it before I turned it over.

                                           CAL
How did you know that?

                                       FERRIS
Well…it was the only card left.

                                       BERYL
How many did you get right, Cal?

                                           CAL
One. I guess I not concentrating enough.

                                           OPAL
How many did you get right, Ferris?


                                            31
                                                                      Born With A Veil 32


                                        BERYL
Cal is the one with the psychic powers. Ferris has nothing.

                                           OPAL
I saw she had at least three of them right. How many did you get right, Ferris?

                                           FERRIS
It doesn’t matter.

                                            OPAL
Yes, it does. How many?

                                           FERRIS
Five.

CAL                               BERYL
What?                             That’s impossible.

                                            OPAL
You had all five of them right?

                                           FERRIS
Maybe.

                                      OPAL
Do you want to do some more? Just to be sure?

                                             CAL
No, she can’t.

                                            OPAL
Why not?

                                             CAL
She’d rather not.

                                            OPAL
It’s really up to Ferris, isn't it?

                                             CAL
No, it ain’t!

                          (OPAL lays the cards on the floor to start the game again despite
                          the objections. CAL and BERYL quickly stand behind OPAL to
                          verify results.)



                                              32
                                                             Born With A Veil 33


                                     FERRIS
Ace. (Waits for cards.) Five. Two. Four. Two.

                                         OPAL
Amazing.

CAL                           BERYL
I can’t believe it.           Impossible.

                                        OPAL
Hold on! To be sure, let’s do colors. Red or black.

                                            CAL
That’s too easy.

                                         OPAL
Then you get over there and do it.

                                            CAL
Okay.

                      (CAL sits by FERRIS.)

                                        BERYL
Come on, buddy boy!

                                        OPAL
                               (holding up the first card)
Ready?

                                        FERRIS
Red.

                                            CAL
I wasn’t ready.

                                         OPAL
Are you ready now?

                                            CAL
Yes.

                      (OPAL holds up another card.)

                                        FERRIS
Red.


                                            33
                                                                 Born With A Veil 34



                                         CAL
Ferris!

                                       FERRIS
What? It’s the four of hearts.

                      (OPAL gasps and turns the card to show the four of hearts.)

                                         CAL
No more!

                                        OPAL
Hang on.

                                         CAL
Go inside, Ferris.

                                        OPAL
Let her try it.

                                         CAL
Another time.

                                        OPAL
Please, Cal.

                                       BERYL
You heard what he said.

                                       FERRIS
Let me try it.

                                        OPAL
Just one more. For the both of you. Please?

                                       CAL
Oh, okay! One more. But I’m going first.

                      (OPAL holds up another card. CAL thinks.)

                                         CAL
Black.

                                       BERYL
He got it right.



                                          34
                                                            Born With A Veil 35



                                        OPAL
What is it Ferris?

                                       FERRIS
The two of clubs.

                                        BERYL
Gawd!

                     (GAR enters. He is muscular and dominating. FERRIS moves
                     quietly behind CAL. FERRIS wheezes.)

                                          GAR
Well, well, well. What do we have here?

                                        FERRIS
                                       (to OPAL)
He’s red.

                                        GAR
                            (with a step toward FERRIS)
What was that little baby? You say something to me?

                                        CAL
                                (protecting FERRIS)
Go away, Gar!

                                          GAR
I wasn’t talking to you, Wonder Boy!

                                          CAL
You are now.

                     (CAL lunges at GAR to push him, but GAR grabs CAL’s arm
                     and twists it behind his back.)

                                      GAR
You think you’re so tough now, Wonder Boy? This hurt?

                                          CAL
Yes.


BERYL                              OPAL
Let him go, Gar.                   Leave him alone.


                                          35
                                                                    Born With A Veil 36



                                          GAR
This hurts the Wonder Boy?

                                          CAL
Yes!

                                         BERYL
It hurts him, Gar!

                                        GAR
Shut up, kid. I am waiting for the Wonder Boy to speak. Speak, Wonder Boy. What
do you have to say?

                                         FERRIS
Leave us alone!!

                                        GAR
Oh, who said that? The baby? Did the baby have something to say? Let’s all shut up
and listen to what the baby has to say!

                                          CAL
Stay away from her!!

                                          GAR
I don’t believe in all your hocus pocus, Wonder Boy. Think your God Almighty saving
that kid, just like your Aunt Helen!

                                          CAL
I got money, Gar. I got a nickel here.

                       (CAL wrestles to get the nickel out of his pocket and gives it to
                       GAR. GAR releases CAL.)

                                          GAR
Gimme it.

                                         BERYL
That’s my nickel!!

                                          GAR
It’s mine now.

                                         BERYL
Moron.



                                            36
                                                            Born With A Veil 37


                      (GAR grabs BERYL in a headlock.)

                                        GAR
Did I ask you to talk to me? You got any money?

                                     BERYL
Let go!!

                      (SHOPIERRE enters and sees the melee. FERRIS breathes
                      loudly. OPAL tends to FERRIS.)

                                   SHOPIERRE
Leave him be!

                      (GAR releases BERYL. BERYL falls to his knees. SHOPIERRE
                      helps BERYL to the stump. GAR eyes SHOPIERRE. )

                                      GAR
Who are you, old man? You look kinda familiar.

                                   SHOPIERRE
I’m the Shaman.

                                       GAR
A shaman? A Medicine Man?

                                   SHOPIERRE
I am.

                                      GAR
We don’t need none of your magic around here. Move on.

                                   SHOPIERRE
I did not come to see you.

                                      GAR
Oh yeah? Who’d you come all this way to see?

                                   SHOPIERRE
The one born with a veil.

                                       GAR
The what? You see, that’s the problem with you mumbo jumbo types. You speak
jibberish.




                                        37
                                                                      Born With A Veil 38


                                     SHOPIERRE
Believe what you will.

                                          GAR
Oh, I will, thank you very much.

                                     SHOPIERRE
Your mother. She owns the tavern.

                                          GAR
So?

                                     SHOPIERRE
Your mother is ill.

                                          GAR
What is that to do with anything?

                                     SHOPIERRE
Dandelion root in tea will bring comfort to her.

                      (FERRIS looks in her book quickly.)

                                          GAR
I ain’t putting no dandelion root in my ma’s tea! She’s too sickly.

                                     FERRIS
                           (announcing from the book)
Rheumatism. Dandelion root helps rheumatism.

                                     SHOPIERRE
Very good.

                                     GAR
Shut up, baby! Now I know who you are! You were there that night my baby sister
died. That was you, wasn’t it?

                                     SHOPIERRE
It was.

                                       GAR
She died and you left! We never saw you again!

                                     SHOPIERRE
No one could save her.



                                           38
                                                                Born With A Veil 39


                                       GAR
Helen coulda saved her. Helen coulda done it. But she was too busy with her! (points
at FERRIS)

                                    SHOPIERRE
Leave. Now.

                                         GAR
You can’t tell me what to do, old man!

                                    SHOPIERRE
                             (controlled but very intense)
You leave now.

                       (GAR takes a menacing step toward FERRIS and shouts “Boo”
                      then exits. FERRIS gasps for air.)

                                     BERYL
What a schmuck! I should have busted him in the mouth when I had the chance.

                                         OPAL
You okay?

                                         CAL
Ferris!

                                       FERRIS
                                   (gasping for air)
I can’t breathe.

                                         CAL
                                   (trying to help)
You’re sick again!

                                    SHOPIERRE
She’ll be fine.

                      (SHOPIERRE starts to assist FERRIS.)

                                         CAL
Stay away from her!

                                    SHOPIERRE
She needs to breathe. Breathe slowly. Calm yourself. Slowly.




                                          39
                                                                Born With A Veil 40


                        (SHOPIERRE sits next to FERRIS and relax by speaking softly
                        to her and taking deeper breaths. After a moment, SHOPIERRE
                        moves away after FERRIS’ breathing slows down. OPAL sits by
                        FERRIS and comforts her.)

                                           CAL
Where’d you learn to do that?

                                       SHOPIERRE
Do what?

                                       CAL
Our mama is the only one who can calm Ferris down when she has one of her breathing
spells. You did exactly what our mama does.

                                       SHOPIERRE
I taught your mother.

                                      CAL
What do you mean you taught our mother?

                                       SHOPIERRE
Here. My gift to you. Pick a stone.

                        (SHOPIERRE takes a few stones from his pocket and shows
                        them on his hand.)

                                            CAL
                                      (stepping away)
No, that’s okay. You better go.

                                       SHOPIERRE
One is for you.

                                           CAL
I’m not taking a stone.

                                       SHOPIERRE
For your birthday.

                                           CAL
How did you know it was my birthday?

                                       SHOPIERRE
I know. Pick your stone.



                                            40
                                                                  Born With A Veil 41


                      (CAL picks a black obsidian.)

                             SHOPIERRE (Continued)
Ahh. Obsidian. Protector. Put it in your pocket. Keep it close to you. Obsidian, for
good luck.

                                         CAL
Thanks. You-

                      (SHOPIERRE turns to FERRIS. CAL cautiously moves away
                      and shows BERYL his new stone.)

                                     SHOPIERRE
Now it is your turn. Pick one.

                                       FERRIS
Any stone?

                                     SHOPIERRE
Any stone.

                      (FERRIS picks a white stone.)

Ah, moonstone. Your mother’s stone. Do you know what a moonstone does?

                                       FERRIS
Balances emotion?

                                     SHOPIERRE
Good. Pick another.

                      (FERRIS picks up another stone.)

                                       FERRIS
Oh, you got an amethyst.

                                 SHOPIERRE
Your stone. Amethyst and moonstone. My gift to you. Is this your garden?

                                       FERRIS
My herb garden.

                                   SHOPIERRE
Rosemary for digestion? Lavender for rashes? Chamomile for-




                                          41
                                                                  Born With A Veil 42


                                         FERRIS
Headaches and coughs.

                                      SHOPIERRE
Did Helen teach you that?

                                           CAL
I think you should go.

                                      SHOPIERRE
                                      (to FERRIS)
Do you have her book?

                                         FERRIS
                              (exchanging a look with OPAL)
Her book?

                                       SHOPIERRE
Helen wrote everything down in her book. Everything she knew. Everything I taught
them. It tells about all the herbs and all their cures.

                         (FERRIS does not say anything.)

Helen had stones. Her amethyst. Her healing stone.

                                         FERRIS
Amethyst? Like this one?

                                      SHOPIERRE
Yes.

                                          OPAL
What do you know about auras?

                                         BERYL
My buddy here may see ‘em.

                                     SHOPIERRE
Auras are unique to a person’s energy. They are the colors of a rainbow. Helen’s book
has all the auras.

                                          OPAL
Can you see them?

                                      SHOPIERRE
I cannot. But if I could, I may be one born with a veil. (looking at FERRIS)


                                            42
                                                                 Born With A Veil 43



                                         BERYL
Born with the what?

                                      SHOPIERRE
One born with a veil is a psychic, a healer, so they say.

                                           CAL
Who says that?

                                   SHOPIERRE
The birthing women, the ones who are there when a child is born in to the world. They
say the child has a membrane over their forehead and eyes. It’s harmless. It’s not
attached. It peels off.

                                         BERYL
Yuck, I’m gonna be sick.

                                   SHOPIERRE
Your Aunt Helen was born with a veil. She had strong intuitions. But I have to speak
with the new healer. The one who saved the boy’s life yesterday.

                                      BERYL
Oh, that would be my buddy boy here, Cal.

                                      SHOPIERRE
Did your intuitions tell you the boy was choking?

                                           CAL
I don’t know.

                                         BERYL
He just knew it. He’s psychic.

                                      SHOPIERRE
Like tightness in your throat?

                                           CAL
Maybe.

                                          OPAL
But does that mean you’re psychic?

                                      SHOPIERRE
One sign may not be enough.



                                            43
                                                                    Born With A Veil 44


                                        OPAL
Well, what if you could read cards without seeing them. Does that mean you’re
psychic?

                                      SHOPIERRE
It may. Or you are a master at card tricks.

                                         BERYL
Ha! I knew it.

                                      OPAL
But how do you know if you are psychic?

                                     SHOPIERRE
Some just know. Others need proof. (to FERRIS) These stones you have chosen aid the
third eye. If you believe you have psychic intuitions, there is a trance, an experiment, if
you will, to open your third eye. The book would know. Your Aunt Helen’s book. (to
FERRIS necklace) What is this?

                                      FERRIS
My mother gave this to me for my birthday.

                                    SHOPIERRE
Lapis. Remove it before the trance. It subdues the Third Eye.

                                           CAL
That’s enough. I think you should go.

                                         FERRIS
Cal-

                                         CAL
Mama asked us not to talk to any strangers today.

                                       SHOPIERRE
                               (picking up the aloe plant)
Be gentle. And don’t over water it. The gel inside the leaves soothes the skin. Keep it
out of direct sunlight. We shall talk another time.

                       (SHOPIERRE exits.)

                                      CAL
No wonder mama wants us to stay away from him.

                                         BERYL
He’s got a screw loose or something.


                                            44
                                                                Born With A Veil 45


                                         OPAL
Takes one to know one.

                                        BERYL
Nyah. Smarty.

                                         CAL
                                (CAL heads for the door.)
Leave her alone, Beryl. (to FERRIS) Don’t tell mama that he was here. We aren’t
suppose to talk to strangers today.

                                        FERRIS
The trance, Cal-

                                          CAL
Just do it, Ferris. And put that book away! We’re gonna make some lunch. You
should come inside, too.

                                        FERRIS
Okay. I’ll just put this away.

                                         CAL
Come on, Beryl.

                                       BERYL
                                   (BERYL follows.)
I’m starved.

                         (BERYL exits with CAL.)

                                          OPAL
Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!! The Shaman says he’s here for the one born with a veil!
It’s on the first page of your book! He thinks you’re the one!

                                        FERRIS
He didn’t say that.

                                       OPAL
Yes, he did! He was looking at you when he was talking about the trance. What does
the book say about that trance!

                                        FERRIS
I have to put it away.




                                          45
                                                                  Born With A Veil 46


                                         OPAL
                            (taking the book from FERRIS)
Why? Come on, Ferris. You could be the one, the one born with a veil. You know
everything about herbs and stuff! You passed the cards test. We gotta find out. Aren’t
you curious?

                                        FERRIS
Kinda.

                                         OPAL
Kinda? Kinda?

                        (FERRIS slowly takes the book from OPAL.)

                                        FERRIS
What are you doing tonight, late?

                                         OPAL
Like eight o'clock?

                                        FERRIS
Midnight.

                                         OPAL
I will be in bed. Asleep.

                                        FERRIS
Can you sneak out?

                                   OPAL
Sneak out? Of my house? At night? My father can kill me only once!

                                       FERRIS
I may need your help. I don't want my brother to know. No one else knows. Only you
and me. Tonight. At midnight.

                                         OPAL
You're scaring me a little bit.

                                          FERRIS
I read about this trance in the book, the one the Shaman is talking about. You have to
do it at midnight with an amethyst and a moonstone. (unfolding the stones in her
hands) We’ll find out for sure if I have psychic powers or not?

                                         OPAL
Really?


                                           46
                                                                       Born With A Veil 47



                                          FERRIS
Yeah.

                                            OPAL
Okay, I’ll try to sneak out. But if I get caught, it was nice knowing you. My father will
lock me in my room the rest of my life.

                                         FERRIS
Forget it. I don’t want you to get in any trouble.

                                            OPAL
No, I’ll do it, Ferris. If we can find out about your psychic intuitions, I’ll do it. I want
to do it.


                               (Lights dim. End of Scene 3)




                                              47
                                                                    Born With A Veil 48


                                         Scene 4

                       (Late that night. OPAL enters as FERRIS is on stage.)

                                         OPAL
I made it! I snuck out and everything. I wasn’t sure if I could do it or not. I waited for
them to go to sleep. I had my clothes on underneath my blanket. I snuck out my
window because the front screen squeaks. But I don’t know if we should do this or not.
I mean look at the sky. A storm’s coming in. I can’t go home in wet clothes, they’ll
know I’ve snuck out. Then what do I do? Oh, my heart is just pounding!

                                      FERRIS
                             (showing page from book)
Shh! Come over here. It’s not going to rain. Here it is in the book.

                                         OPAL
I hope you know what you’re doing.

                       (FERRIS begins to move away debris from an area of the stage as
                       if clearing a spot. FERRIS hands the two stones to OPAL.)

For your trance?

                                        FERRIS
Yes.

                                         OPAL
What do we do with them?

                                       FERRIS
My Aunt’s book says to place the stones here on my forehead. They awaken the third
eye, the psychic powers. There’s a poem I have to repeat over and over. Here.

                                          OPAL
                                 (reading from the book)
“Light of the earth. Light of the sun. Combine the light to become one.” I don’t get it.

                                         FERRIS
Me, either. It’s got to be something spiritual.

                                          OPAL
I guess. But how are you going to say it if you don’t know what it means?

                       (FERRIS lays down holding the stones in her hand.)




                                            48
                                                                      Born With A Veil 49


                                          FERRIS
I’ll just say it. I don’t know. I’m following the directions as best I can.

                                     OPAL
Oh wait. Your necklace. The Shaman said to take it off.

                        (FERRIS removes her necklace and sets it on the ground and
                        places two stones on her forehead. Soft lightening and thunder
                        are heard.)

                                         FERRIS
I got to relax. Deep breathes. “Light of the earth. Light of the sun. Combine the light
to become one.” “Light of the earth. Light of the sun. Combine the light to become
one.” “Light of the earth. Light of the sun. Combine the light to become one.”

                                         OPAL
Please Ferris. I don't know what you're doing.

                                        FERRIS
Opal, will you please just do this? Okay? Get a stick or something.

                                          OPAL
A stick. Is that part of the test?

                                         FERRIS
It’s to keep snakes away.

                                          OPAL
Snakes?

                                       FERRIS
Watch it that no snakes crawl on me. I don't like them. “Light of the earth. Light of
the sun. Combine the light to become one.” “Light of the earth. Light of the sun.
Combine the light to become one.”

                        (FERRIS begins to take deep breathes and is still. OPAL
                        watches a moment and walks around with a stick in hand to
                        watch for snakes. FERRIS still mumbles for a minute.)

                                        OPAL
Watch for snakes, she says. Got to open her eye, she says. If I just see one snake, I'll be
screaming so loud, she will open both her eyes!!!

                        (OPAL moves back over to FERRIS. Lightening and thunder. )

Ferris? Ferris? Do you want that stone now on your forehead? Ferris??


                                             49
                                                                  Born With A Veil 50



                         (OPAL places the three stones on FERRIS' forehead. FERRIS
                         breathes heavier. GAR enters and sees OPAL hunting for snakes.
                         He does not see FERRIS.)

                                        GAR
Well, well, well, looky here? What in heaven’s name do we have here?

                                          OPAL
Hello Gar.

                                            GAR
What are you doing out here?

                                          OPAL
Nothing.

                                            GAR
Are you meeting a boy?

                                          OPAL
A boy?

                                          GAR
Sneaking out of the house so late at night?

                                          OPAL
I’m not meeting any boys, believe me.

                                            GAR
Then what are you doing?

                         (ROGENE enters.)

                                        ROGENE
Who’s there?

                                            GAR
Place is busy tonight.

                                   ROGENE
Thought you were heading home, Gar. Rains coming in.

                                            GAR
I am! But then I saw her.



                                            50
                                                        Born With A Veil 51


                                        OPAL
He was talking to me.

                                     ROGENE
Opal? What are you doing out here so late?

                                        GAR
She won’t tell me.

                                        OPAL
It’s just that …

                                     ROGENE
I’ll walk you home. Do your parents know you’re here?

                                        OPAL
I can’t go home. Not yet.

                                       ROGENE
Girl, you better get a move on… now!

                                        OPAL
Ferris is…well….

                                        GAR
The baby?

                                       ROGENE
What’s wrong with her?

                                        OPAL
Nothing. I’m waiting for her.

                                       ROGENE
Out here? This late at night? Is she missing?

                                        OPAL
No, I…well…she’s….

                                       ROGENE
Then where is she?

                                        OPAL
She’s…she’s…




                                         51
                                                                  Born With A Veil 52


                                       ROGENE
You better speak up, Opal.

                        (SELENA enters.)

                                       SELENA
Well, does everyone use this path on their way home? It’s going to storm. (notices
OPAL)

                                       ROGENE
Selena, Ferris is missing.

                                       SELENA
Ferris?

                                        OPAL
                                       (quickly)
She’s not missing.

                                       SELENA
Opal, where’s Ferris?

                                       GAR
You can use your hocus pocus and find her right away.

                                       SELENA
Shut up, Gar!

                                           GAR
You can’t talk to me like that!

                                       SELENA
Go home!

                        (GAR moves to exit.)

Opal. Where’s Ferris?

                        (SHOPIERRE steps in and blocks GAR’s exit.)

                                           GAR
He knows!

                                       ROGENE
Shopierre!



                                           52
                                                                   Born With A Veil 53



                                          GAR
Ask him!

                                        SELENA
Where is she, Shopierre?

                                         OPAL
Here! Over here! Ferris is over here!

                       (OPAL leads SELENA over to the place where FERRIS lies.)

                                        SELENA
What's the matter with her??

                                         OPAL
She is in a trance or something.

                                          GAR
The mumbo jumbo.

                                        SELENA
                                   (to SHOPIERRE)
Take her out of it at once!!

                                     SHOPIERRE
I did not induce the trance.

                                         OPAL
She did it herself, ma'am.

                                        SELENA
She what?

                                          OPAL
She put herself in the trance. She said she had to awaken a third eye.

                                          GAR
Voodoo! Just like Helen!

                                  SELENA
Moonstone? Amethyst? Where did these come from?

                       (SELENA bends down and grabs stones off of FERRIS who
                       begins to wake up. Big claps of thunder are heard.)



                                           53
                                                                   Born With A Veil 54


                              SELENA (Continued)
Ferris? Ferris? Wake up. Can you hear me?? Get up, young lady!!

                      (SELENA pulls a waking FERRIS to her feet. SELENA shakes
                      her.)

                                       FERRIS
Mama?

                                         SELENA
Ferris, you have quite a bit of explaining to do!

                                       FERRIS
What are you doing here?

                                       SELENA
I am asking you the same question!

                                     FERRIS
I, ah, … (to SHOPIERRE) I saw it!! “Light of the earth. Light of the sun. Combine
the light to become one.”

                                    SELENA
Hush!! What do you think you’re doing out here? It’s the middle of the night! And
where did you get these stones?

                                       FERRIS
Those are mine!

                                       SELENA
Not anymore!

                      (SELENA puts them in her pocket.)

                                       FERRIS
I had to come out here!

                                       SELENA
For what?

                                     FERRIS
The Shaman gave me these stones and said …

                                      SELENA
What did I tell you about strangers? And where is your necklace?



                                          54
                                                             Born With A Veil 55


                                           FERRIS
Here on the ground.

                                           SELENA
Put it on!!! That is the stone you keep!

                                           FERRIS
But I …

                                           SELENA
Do as I say!

                                      GAR
Remember your sister, how messed up she was! We all know what happened to her.

                                           SELENA
Get out of here, Gar!

                                          GAR
First, your twin sister, now your kid! Looney!!

                                           SELENA
Enough!

                                          GAR
Is the baby seeing things, too? Is she going crazy, too?

                                           SELENA
Gar, I told you to leave!

                                           ROGENE
This is none of your business!

                                          GAR
It is my business! Her aunt killed my sister!!

                                           SELENA
She did not!

                                       GAR
She did, too! Helen could have saved my sister!!!

                                           SELENA
She couldn’t, Gar! She couldn’t!




                                             55
                                                               Born With A Veil 56


                                        ROGENE
                                   (consoling SELENA)
There, Selena.

                                       GAR
                             (coming up to SELENA)
Helen worked her magic and saved only one!

                                        SELENA
                                   (pushing him away)
Get out of here!!

                                      SHOPIERRE
Go.

                                       GAR
You’ve got one messed up family, you know that?

                       (SHOPIERRE takes a step toward GAR. GAR exits angrily.)

                                    ROGENE
There. He’s gone. He’s gone. Don’t listen to him. Opal, we have to get you home.

                                         OPAL
Yes, ma’am.

                                       ROGENE
No wasting time, girl, let’s go.

                       (ROGENE and OPAL exit.)

                                        SELENA
                                      (to FERRIS)
And you …you better get inside!

                                        FERRIS
But I saw something.

                                      SHOPIERRE
What did you see?

                                        SELENA
She saw nothing!!

                                        FERRIS
I did! There were two lights that came together-


                                          56
                                                                    Born With A Veil 57



                                          SELENA
Stop it, Ferris.

                                           FERRIS
It was a purple light.

                          (Lightening and thunder are heard.)

                                        SHOPIERRE
The Sixth Chakra.

                                          SELENA
It doesn’t mean anything!

                                           FERRIS
                                      (to SHOPIERRE)
What does it mean?

                                        SHOPIERRE
The psychic sees purple.

                                          SELENA
It’s not true!

                                        SHOPIERRE
Look to your book.

                                   SELENA
What book? (after a moment) What book?!

                   (FERRIS hesitates, then picks up the book as SELENA yanks it out of
                   her hands.)

Where did you get this?!

                                           FERRIS
I…I found it.

                                        SELENA
In my trunk?! Ferris, did you take this out of my locked trunk?

                                         FERRIS
Yes. It’s Aunt Helen’s! It tells all about the herbs and…




                                              57
                                                                 Born With A Veil 58


                                      SELENA
That is enough, young lady!! You get inside right now!! Now!!

                          (SELENA crosses FERRIS to the door.)

You are not like Helen! You are not going to be like her!! Do you understand me? Get
inside!! For your own good!!
                          (FERRIS exits. SELENA holds a moment. )

Don’t you speak to her again!
                                       SHOPIERRE
Selena, you can teach her.
                                         SELENA
No! I’ll have no part of it!

                                       SHOPIERRE
We can teach her.

                                     SELENA
No! It’s not something she can do. Ever!
                                       SHOPIERRE
She may be the one.

                                       SELENA
I’m protecting her! It’s too dangerous!!!

                                       SHOPIERRE
She has seen the color…

                                         SELENA
I won’t go through it again!

                                       SHOPIERRE
It has begun all ready.

                                    SELENA
                               (after a moment)
No one knows anything! No one will believe Gar if he decides to spread this all over
town!

                                     SHOPIERRE
The town all ready knows. I have been asked by those who remember. They will
wonder if the boy has the gift. They will want to know who will help them.


                                            58
                                                                     Born With A Veil 59


                                         SELENA
No one believes in it anymore, Shopierre. No one believes we can help. Not after what
happened years ago! One lived after the fever. One! The town hated us. We couldn’t
save anyone else. Gar still hates us. I remember all too well, Gar pounding on the door,
crying and pleading for Helen to come and help his baby sister. Helen wanted to help.
She really did. But Ferris was too sick. If Helen had gone to help his sister, Ferris
would have died.

                                      SHOPIERRE
I know. I remember.

                                        SELENA
We were awake for three days. Helen made the teas for anyone who needed them. She
touched all the babies that came to the door. It wasn’t enough. She tried. She tried.
With all her heart. With all she had. We couldn’t save the babies.

                       (SELENA hides her face of tears.)

                                      SHOPIERRE
She has chosen the amethyst and the moonstone. She has seen the color of the healer.
She needs our help to guide her intuitions. She has Helen’s book to guide her…

                                      SELENA
And she’s probably read the whole thing! No! There’s too many things to bear. Ferris
is too weak!

                                   SHOPIERRE
But you were Helen’s strength. Use your strength to guide this new one. She will listen
to you.

                                          SELENA
I can’t risk her life! I won’t do it, Shopierre She does not have the gift!

                                        SHOPIERRE
Open your eyes. Remove your barriers and see it unfold before you. It is there, Selena.
See the signs! You closed yourself to Helen after the deaths of all the children. Helen
needed you and you refused the gift. If you do not offer your knowledge to the one, if
you do not offer your guidance, she may misinterpret her intuitions. She will keep
trying. That is the path of the healer. If you do not help the girl, she will come to me
and I will help her. I will help her the way you helped Helen.

                       (SHOPIERRE exits. SELENA tearfully sits a moment holding
                       the book. She begins to rip the pages from the book.)
                                (Lights out. End of Act I)




                                            59
                                                                     Born With A Veil 60


                                            Act II

                                          Scene 1
                        (SELENA’s dream. Lights are blue. SHOPIERRE sits cross-
                        legged center stage in a trance. A lighted candled is held in his
                        one hand, and the piece of paper in the other hand. SELENA
                        enters quietly. Stops. Watches.)

                                     SHOPIERRE
I know you are there, Selena. (Pause.) I feel your heart. It is broken.

                        (SELENA takes a step away. SHOPIERRE holds up the piece of
                        paper.)

Take her words.

                                          SELENA
I don’t want them.

                                  SHOPIERRE
Moonstone and amethyst are a powerful combination.

                                          SELENA
                                       (turning away)
I don’t want it!!

                                        SHOPIERRE
Accept it!

                                          SELENA
I can’t accept it!

                                        SHOPIERRE
You are afraid.

                                          SELENA
I am not afraid you!

                                        SHOPIERRE
It is not me that you fear. It is the one born with a veil.

                        (SELENA exits. SHOPIERRE blows out the candle.)

                                       End of Scene 1




                                             60
                                                                    Born With A Veil 61


                                         Scene 2

                        (The next morning. FERRIS enters and sees her book destroyed.
                        She picks up the book gently. FERRIS feels her necklace and
                        removes it angrily and throws it in the dirt and tries piece back
                        the pages. FERRIS picks up the ripped pieces and begins to put
                        them back in the book. SELENA enters and paces a moment in
                        silence behind FERRIS.)

                                         SELENA
                                   (crossing to the door)
I have to go to work.

                                         FERRIS
Good.

                                       SELENA
Don’t you use that tone of voice with me, young lady. You’re not to go anywhere
today.

                        (FERRIS does not look at her.)

Do you hear me? (after another moment) Ferris?

                                         FERRIS
                                          (sadly)
You ruined my book.

                                       SELENA
It is not your book. You took it from my locked trunk!

                        (FERRIS concentrates on the book.)

We are done with this. I won’t allow it anymore! I want this garden cut down today!

                                         FERRIS
My garden.

                                         SELENA
It’s foolishness.

                                         FERRIS
It is not.




                                            61
                                                                       Born With A Veil 62


                                         SELENA
It is, too! I will not have you growing herbs in my yard!

                                      FERRIS
                       (crossing to put book gently on stump)
Then I won’t grow them in your yard.

                                   SELENA
                      (swatting FERRIS firmly on the rear)
You won’t grow them anywhere!

                                       FERRIS
                                (holding back her tears)
You’d let Cal do it. You let him do whatever he wants!

                                        SELENA
That is not true!

                                        FERRIS
Didn’t you see the way they treated him last night at the tavern? They were whispering
about him, talking about him, pointing at him. Some people even asked him what herb
to use for their ailments.

                                        SELENA
They were not.

                                        FERRIS
Mother! They were, too. He saved that boy’s life and everyone saw him do it! Cal
knew he was choking. Isn’t that part of having the gift?

                                       SELENA
No. (heading for the door ) I’m late. We will talk about this later.

                                         FERRIS
                                       (desperately)
But I need to know!

                                        SELENA
Know what, Ferris? That helping a boy dislodge a piece of food from his throat is some
psychic thing? Well, it’s not. It was luck. Cal is not psychic!

                                         FERRIS
But he felt it.

                                        SELENA
He felt nothing!


                                            62
                                                                      Born With A Veil 63



                                          FERRIS
He did, too!

                                        SELENA
Stop it! Just stop it! No one is psychic. Not anymore.

                                           FERRIS
                                  (with tears on her cheeks)
He feels it anyway.

                                       SELENA
No! He has to get it out of his head. Do you understand me?

                       (FERRIS is quietly crying. SELENA kneels beside her.)

No one understands its power. What you did last night was very, very dangerous.

                                          FERRIS
But-

                                          SELENA
It’s better for everyone to leave it alone. Please. Leave it alone.

                                       FERRIS
                                  (after a moment)
Why did Gar say that Aunt Helen killed his sister?

                                       SELENA
Helen did no such thing. His sister was sick.

                                      FERRIS
Did Aunt Helen use some sort of magic or-

                                          SELENA
                                         (getting up)
There’s no magic to it, Ferris.

                                       FERRIS
                             (grabbing SELENA’s hand)
Mama, I need to know! I just want to know what this is? Tell me, tell me what I’m
feeling!

                                         SELENA
I don’t know! I don’t know what you’re feeling! But whatever it is, it killed your Aunt
and I swear, I swear to God it is not going to happen to you!


                                             63
                                                                       Born With A Veil 64



                                  FERRIS
But how? What happened? Did Aunt Helen have all these powers and it killed her?

                                       SELENA
Yes! That’s how powerful it is, Ferris! That’s why you can’t be a part of it!!

                                          FERRIS
What if I am a part of it!

                                        SELENA
You’re not!! It will consume you! It consumed Helen! It totally and utterly consumed
her. And I couldn’t stop it! I couldn’t help her. I couldn’t save her.

                        (SELENA turns away to hide her tears.)

                                          FERRIS
                                  (softly after a moment)
I didn’t know.

                                 SELENA
Now you do. Now you know why I don’t want you meddling in this.

                                          FERRIS
It’s not meddling.

                                         SELENA
Dabbling, experimenting, discovering whatever you want to call it, Ferris! It has to
stop! There will be no more of it! If I ever catch you even hinting at this ever again,
you’re going to be sorry! Is that clear?

                                         FERRIS
                                       (sorrowfully)
Yes.

                                         SELENA
And you’re to stay in the yard! Is that clear?

                                          FERRIS
                                          (faintly)
Yes.

                                         SELENA
                         (giving in to her tears as she goes inside)
I have to go to work.



                                             64
                                                                     Born With A Veil 65


                         (FERRIS wipes her tears and crosses to gather her book. OPAL
                         enters in a flurry and speaks quite fast.)

                                            OPAL
My folks didn’t know I snuck out last night! Can you believe it? I feel kind of guilty
over it! I don’t think I’m ever going to do that again. Kinda scared me, you know. But
I could hardly sleep last night just thinking about everything that happened. I couldn’t
wait to do my chores and get over here today! What did you see? What light? A
purplish light? Is that psychic powers? What does the book say?

                                         FERRIS
Look at my book.

                                          OPAL
What happened?

                                         FERRIS
My mother.

                                          OPAL
She ripped it up?

                                         FERRIS
She’s says I can’t go anywhere today.

                                          OPAL
                                     (kneeling to help)
Because of last night?

                                        FERRIS
She wants me to give it up. All of it. She says I just have to ignore it. I have to cut
down my garden.

                                      OPAL
Oh no, not the garden! We’ve worked so hard on it.


                                         FERRIS
She says it’s too dangerous.

                                          OPAL
Gardening? Is dangerous?

                         (CAL enters.)




                                            65
                                                              Born With A Veil 66


                                        CAL
Morning. Have any idea what’s wrong with mama? I cleared out of there before she
took my head off. (sees the ruined book) What happened to the book?

                                      FERRIS
Nothing.

                                        CAL
Some animal tore that up pretty good. Raccoon maybe? Ground’s kinda soft. See any
paw prints?

                                      FERRIS
No.

                                        CAL
Then what?

                                      FERRIS
Mama did this. Are you happy now?

                                       CAL
She found out you had her book? She didn’t skin you alive?

                                      FERRIS
She wants me to cut down my garden!

                                        CAL
Why?

                                      FERRIS
                                      (angrily)
Why don’t you ask her?

                                      CAL
Don’t be mad at me for something mama did.

                                      FERRIS
I want to sell these herbs!

                                        CAL
Maybe you should do what she wants.

                                      FERRIS
I won’t do it! It’s your fault!




                                         66
                                                                  Born With A Veil 67


                                           CAL
Why is it my fault?

                                         FERRIS
For showing off after saving that boy’s life. You couldn’t just walk away. You had to
tell everyone you felt like he was choking.

                                           CAL
But that’s true, right?

                                       FERRIS
And what about trying to see auras and telling people what herbs they should use.

                                           CAL
I was just playing.

                                         FERRIS
It’s not a game, Cal. It’s real. Things are happening to me and Mama won’t explain
anything. She says to just leave it alone and I can’t!

                                           OPAL
Tell him about seeing purple.

                                       FERRIS
Shhhh!

                                           CAL
Seeing what?

                                           OPAL
Last night.

                                       FERRIS
Opal.

                                           CAL
What happened last night?

                                       FERRIS
I can’t talk about it anymore.

                                           OPAL
Well, I can. Ferris did this trance and…

                                           CAL
A trance!


                                            67
                                                                   Born With A Veil 68



                                         OPAL
Remember the stones the Shaman gave her? She placed them on her forehead at
midnight to see if she had any psychic intuitions.

                                  FERRIS
And we got caught. Now mama wants me to cut down my garden.

                                     CAL
No wonder mama’s in such a bad mood. Why did you do something that stupid?

                                        FERRIS
It wasn’t stupid.

                                        OPAL
Ferris saw purple. That’s the color. The psychic color.

                                          CAL
Did you?

                                        FERRIS
Cal-

                                          CAL
Did you see purple?

                                        FERRIS
I think so.

                                      CAL
Does mama know this? What did she think?

                                        FERRIS
I don’t care what she thinks.

                                           CAL
You better! She’s just trying to protect you. You’re a weakling, Ferris.

                                        FERRIS
I am not.

                                          CAL
You’ve always been the little one, Ferris. The runt.

                                      FERRIS
I’m not a runt! I know I have something, Cal. I just don’t know what it is!


                                           68
                                                                    Born With A Veil 69


                                        CAL
She doesn’t want you messing with that stuff.

                                         FERRIS
Why?

                                           CAL
Aunt Helen killed herself!

                                          FERRIS
                                     (after a moment)
Killed herself?

                                     CAL
See? You don’t know nothing. Aunt Helen killed herself. It drove her crazy!

                                         FERRIS
What drove her crazy?

                                         CAL
Her intuitions! She couldn’t handle it. That’s why mama doesn’t want you messing
with this stuff.

                                         FERRIS
How do you know?

                                           CAL
Mama told me all about it last night after the party. All about Aunt Helen and her
herbs, her stones, her intuitions, and what happened when the fever came.

                                         FERRIS
Mama told you and not me?

                                           CAL
Oh! Now see what you made me do?

                       (CAL crosses to leave. BERYL enters.)

                                           BERYL
I can hear you all hollerin’ clear across the river. What am I missin’?

                                          OPAL
Everything.

                                      BERYL
Like what? Like how many lives is the Wonder Boy going to save today?


                                            69
                                                                   Born With A Veil 70



                                             CAL
Shut up, Beryl.

                                       FERRIS
What about that Everett boy, Cal? Tell them about that.

                         (CAL stops.)

                                       BERYL
Cal saved his life. Right, Cal? Everyone knows that.

                                           FERRIS
Cal saved him. That’s a laugh.

                                             CAL
Ferris, wait a minute.

                                          FERRIS
We heard the woman screaming for help. By the time we got there no one knew what
was going on. They tried shaking him, pulling at him, but he was turning blue. I felt
this tightness in my throat and I told Cal about this feeling I had. I felt the boy was
choking. I knew what was wrong with him. And Cal went over hit the boy on the back
a few times and out flew that piece of apple. He was choking, I knew it, not Cal. I
saved that boy’s life!

                                            BERYL
You did? Did she, Cal?

                                               CAL
                                        (after a moment)
She did.

                                            OPAL
I knew it! I knew it!

                                          BERYL
You told all the people that you felt like the boy was choking. That’s what you said.

                                         CAL
I know what I said. But everyone started congratulating me and stuff. I just didn’t have
time to say it was Ferris.

                                            BERYL
My Wonder Boy, ain’t so wonderful.



                                              70
                                                                     Born With A Veil 71


                                            CAL
Come on, Beryl. It ain’t such a big deal.

                                           FERRIS
It is a big deal. I had the feeling, I knew those cards, I’m the one who saw the light. I
have something and no one will tell me what it is!

                                    CAL
                                 (angrily)
You want to know? Go ask mama! She’ll tell you everything!! Come on, Beryl.

                                         FERRIS
Where are you going?

                                      CAL
Down by the river. We’re going swimming.

                                       FERRIS
I don’t want you to go swimming. It’s not a good day for it.

                                     BERYL
It’s hot. We’re hot. We’re going swimming.

                                         FERRIS
Black. It was all black.

                                            OPAL
What was black?

                                     FERRIS
My dream. This feeling. This something.

                                            CAL
It don’t mean nothing.

                                         FERRIS
Yes, it does.

                                            CAL
No, it don’t!

                                         FERRIS
It does, too! Black means survival. It’s in the book. All the colors and their meanings.

                                            CAL
That’s a bunch of hooey.


                                             71
                                                                  Born With A Veil 72



                                         BERYL
Yeah, hooey.

                                        FERRIS
Black covers the lower part of the body, legs, feet-

                                        CAL
Ain’t nothing wrong with my legs. I am fit as a fiddle. See? I’ll be fine. I’m a strong
swimmer.

                                         BERYL
We both are.

                                         FERRIS
Don’t go!

                                      CAL
Look. Do you want me to tell mama I can’t go swimming because you had a feeling?

                                         FERRIS
No.

                                      CAL
Then I’m going swimming! (softening) Beryl will be with me the whole time.

                                         FERRIS
Be careful.

                                          CAL
See you later.

                                         BERYL
Yeah, see ya, runt.

                        (CAL exits with BERYL)


                                         FERRIS
                                   (calling after them)
Quit calling me that!

                        (BERYL and CAL exit. FERRIS and OPAL gather up the
                        pages.)




                                            72
                                                                Born With A Veil 73


                                        OPAL
Those stupid boys!

                                       FERRIS
I’m scared for them, Opal.

                        (SHOPIERRE enters.)

                                     SHOPIERRE
Good morning.

                                    OPAL & FERRIS
Morning.

                                      SHOPIERRE
Have things settled down since last night?

                                       FERRIS
My mom is still really mad at me.

                                     SHOPIERRE
She is afraid.

                                       FERRIS
Afraid of what?

                                     SHOPIERRE
That you are the one.

                                       FERRIS
Am I?

                                     SHOPIERRE
Are you?

                                       FERRIS
That’s what I’m trying to figure out. My mother told Cal about Aunt Helen and her
gifts. She didn’t tell me.

                                    SHOPIERRE
You and your brother are two separate people. Why should she guide you the same?

                                     FERRIS
But she gets so mad at me… She won’t listen to me.




                                         73
                                                                   Born With A Veil 74


                                   SHOPIERRE
She protects you from what she cannot accept.

                                        FERRIS
What does that mean?

                                       SHOPIERRE
Many years ago, I came to this town and met your mother and her sister, Helen. Each
month as I came back through town, I taught them about the healing herbs and the
teachings of one born with a veil. I taught them all I knew. But only one sister had the
healing gift. Your Aunt Helen. She could sense things beyond my direction. The other
girl, your mother, served as the guide for her sister’s intuitions and actions. Your
mother was the guardian. As your Aunt and mother grew up, people came from miles
around to see the one and to buy the herbs. Helen helped many people. Then one Fall,
there was a fever that swept through the mountains. Many children became very, very
sick. Your Aunt saved you but many other children died. The guilt of not being able to
save more children made your Aunt very, very sick, until she herself died.

                                        FERRIS
Gar said she went crazy. Did she?

                                     SHOPIERRE
I do not know.

                                        FERRIS
Did she kill herself?

                                    SHOPIERRE
Child, only Helen can answer that question.

                                         FERRIS
                                    (after a moment)
I suppose that’s why Gar doesn’t like me very much because I lived through the fever.

                                      SHOPIERRE
After the fever, the people did not welcome the healers anymore. Your mother and
Aunt Helen stopped growing herbs and did not heal anyone. I was asked to leave town
by the preacher and never come back. He said only God’s hands can heal the sick.

                                       OPAL
But what about doctors? They heal, don’t they?




                                           74
                                                                   Born With A Veil 75


                                      SHOPIERRE
They do. I believe there is only one Great Spirit, one God, and He is greater than the
universe. But I also believe that here on Earth, there are many healers in the form of
doctors, shamans, and priests. The two, the Great Spirit and the healers, are not one in
the same. They are not meant to be the same.

                                     FERRIS
Did my Aunt ever have…intuitions, dreams….if something was going to happen.

                                    SHOPIERRE
She did. It took many years for Helen and your mother to understand these intuitions
and their meanings.

                                        FERRIS
I had this dream and it was-

                      (ROGENE enters.)

                                  ROGENE
Good morning. Shopierre! You shouldn’t be here!

                                     SHOPIERRE
I have something to give the one born with a veil.

                                       ROGENE
If Selena sees you here-

                                        FERRIS
What do you have to give-

                                    ROGENE
You go, Shopierre. We don’t want any trouble around here!

                                       SHOPIERRE
                                 (getting up and exiting)
If you say so.

                                        FERRIS
Wait!

                                   ROGENE
                         (tapping FERRIS on the head)
Show your mama’s wishes some respect, little girl.

                                      FERRIS
She doesn’t respect me. Only Cal. Tells him all the secrets.


                                           75
                                                                Born With A Veil 76



                                        ROGENE
What secrets?

                                    FERRIS
That my Aunt Helen was a healer. Was she born with a veil? Was she? Was she a
healer?

                                        ROGENE
I’d say she was the best.

                                       FERRIS
Did Aunt Helen kill herself? Did she go crazy? Did she?

                                        ROGENE
I don’t know if it’s my place to say such things, Ferris.

                                         FERRIS
But I want to know!

                                       ROGENE
No one really knows what happened to your Aunt. Such a tragedy. They found her at
the bottom of the quarry. People say she jumped.

                                         FERRIS
She jumped from one of the cliffs?

                                       ROGENE
That’s what they say. She did take to wandering through the woods at night. She could
have lost her way and…fell.

                       (GAR enters. FERRIS gasps.)

                                           GAR
I pay you to talk all day long?

                                    ROGENE
You’re mother pays me. I’m picking up Selena.

                                        GAR
Hurry it up. (to FERRIS) So the baby is awake today. Learn anything from that hocus
pocus last night?

                                         FERRIS
Not that I’ll share with you.



                                            76
                                                                    Born With A Veil 77


                                          GAR
Are you sassing me, girl?

                         (GAR grabs FERRIS underneath the chin. FERRIS wheezes.)

                                       OPAL
Let her go, Gar. You’re making her sick.

                                          GAR
She’s always sick!

                                        ROGENE
Gar, let the child go.

                                       GAR
                               (letting FERRIS go)
Shut up!! All you people make me sick! Believing in all this crap. Ain’t nothing to it,
I tell you. Nothing!

                                     ROGENE
                             (nose to nose with GAR)
Your mother used to buy dandelion root from Helen all the time!

                         (FERRIS has recovered quickly and presents GAR with a
                         dandelion wrapped in burlap.)

                                       FERRIS
                            (turning quickly to her garden)
Here’s some dandelion root for your mother’s tea.

                                          GAR
What?

                                         FERRIS
                         (getting the root and giving it to GAR)
You mix a little dandelion root in her tea. It will help with her rheumatism.

                                         GAR
                        (slapping the root from FERRIS’ hand)
Oh, you think you’re a healer now?

                                         FERRIS
I’m just trying to help.

                         (SELENA enters concerned.)



                                           77
                                                               Born With A Veil 78


                                      SELENA
Where's Cal?

                                       FERRIS
                                 (getting up quickly)
What?

                                      SELENA
                           (taking FERRIS by the shoulders)
Where's Cal?

                                       FERRIS
Swimming.

                     (FERRIS looks at SELENA and understands.)

The river!

                     (SELENA crossing to exit.)

Wait! What’s wrong with Cal!

                     (SELENA stops before exiting as FERRIS starts to follow.)

                                      SELENA
You stay, Ferris!

                                       FERRIS
But-

                                      SELENA
Gar, come with me!

                     (SELENA exits followed by GAR.)

                                     ROGENE
Those boys must be up to something again.

                                       OPAL
You told them not to go.

                                      ROGENE
You told the boys not to go where?

                                        OPAL
Ferris warned them it wasn’t a good day to go swimming.


                                         78
                                                                    Born With A Veil 79



                                    ROGENE
Why would you say something like that?

                                    FERRIS
My dream. Aunt Helen’s book says that different colors in dreams have meanings.

                                       ROGENE
Your Aunt Helen’s book?

                      (OPAL shows ROGENE the book.)

Oh my, my, my, it’s all ripped up.

                                       FERRIS
My mother ripped out the pages after she found out that I had it.

                                      ROGENE
You shouldn’t have been reading it without your mother’s permission.

                                          FERRIS
I suppose. I don’t understand a lot of it, but-

                                        ROGENE
No buts about it little miss. Don’t you read another page of that book unless your
mother is sitting right beside you. She can tell you what it all means.

                                        FERRIS
She can?

                                      ROGENE
Helen spent hours writing everything down. Everything they knew is in this book. And
since Helen’s been…gone…your mother has tried to put this all behind her, and now
you come along and open the whole thing up again.

                                     FERRIS
The Shaman said my Aunt was the gifted one and my mother was the guide. Is that
true?

                                    ROGENE
Yes. Your mother helped Helen with her intuitions. Of course, Selena had slight
intuitions herself.

                                        FERRIS
She did? Do you think she still has those intuitions?



                                           79
                                                                    Born With A Veil 80


                                        ROGENE
Why?

                                        FERRIS
Well, just now, I felt like she knew something. She had this feeling about Cal. I felt it,
too, here, in my chest.

                                          OPAL
You think something’s happened to Cal?

                                        FERRIS
                                  (making a realization)
It’s not Cal! It’s Beryl!

                                    ROGENE
                                   (getting up)
Beryl? Did something happen to Beryl? In the river? God!

                                       FERRIS
                               (holding on to ROGENE)
I saw black. It means survival … I don’t know!

                       (GAR enters carrying BERYL’s lifeless body followed by
                       SELENA and CAL. GAR lays BERYL and checks him for
                       breathing . CAL kneels beside BERYL.)

                                        ROGENE
Beryl? No…no!!

                                          CAL
                                    (almost in tears)
He jumped in too close to the tree. His foot must a got caught. The current pinned him
down.

                                        ROGENE
                        (pushing others aside to kneel by BERYL)
Is he breathing?

                                          GAR
Looks like he was under too long.

                                 ROGENE
Somebody do something! Help him! Help him!

                                           CAL
What do we do?


                                            80
                                                                 Born With A Veil 81



                                        ROGENE
                              (desperately shaking BERYL)
My boy! Beryl? Beryl!

                       (SHOPIERRE enters.)

Shopierre, you can help! Beryl! He’s drowned in the river.

                                      SHOPIERRE
Let me see him.

                       (Everyone backs off as SHOPIERRE kneels beside BERYL.)

                                          GAR
Is he dead?

                                       SHOPIERRE
There is no breath. (listening to his chest) There is no beat.

                                        ROGENE
Save him, Shopierre! Help him!!

                                         SELENA
                              (trying to comfort ROGENE)
Rogene..

                                        ROGENE
No! He can’t be dead!

                                         FERRIS
                          (quietly, intently looking at BERYL)
He’s alive.

                                        SELENA
Ferris-

                                           FERRIS
I can feel it here, in my chest. I can’t breath.

                       (FERRIS kneels down quickly once she realizes the problem.)

He can’t breathe. He’s swallowed water! He’s not dead!!

                                        ROGENE
What?


                                            81
                                                                     Born With A Veil 82



                                      SELENA
She can’t do it, Rogene! She doesn’t know how.

                           (FERRIS kneeling by BERYL with her hands and arms stretched
                           slightly above his chest)

His light. It’s still there!

                                           SELENA
His light?

                                         SHOPIERRE
His aura? Do you see it?

                                          FERRIS
I can see it! I can barely see it! He’s not dead!! Not yet!

                                           ROGENE
Hurry, Ferris. Hurry!!

                                    SELENA
               (quickly kneeling down beside the CAL and FERRIS)
What do you see?

                                            FERRIS
                               (very intense looking at her hands)
It’s weak, but I see it!

                                         SHOPIERRE
Then he is not dead!

                                           ROGENE
My baby! Selena do something!!

                                           SELENA
                                     (quickly taking over)
Get his arms up.

                           (SHOPIERRE pulls BERYL’s arms above his head.)

                                            FERRIS
What are you doing?

                                        SELENA
I am helping you save his life!! Roll him over!


                                               82
                                                                 Born With A Veil 83



                                     SHOPIERRE
Amethyst and moonstone.

                                       SELENA
Roll him over!

                       (SHOPIERRE and GAR roll BERYL over on to his stomach.
                       SELENA puts her entire weight on his back with FERRIS
                       helping.)

                                      ROGENE
                                     (desperately)
Save him! Save him!

                                    SELENA
Help me! Help me! Put all your weight on him!

                       (FERRIS, SHOPIERRE and GAR press their entire weight on
                       BERYL’s back.)

Again.

                       (THEY push on BERYL’s back again to push the water fromj his
                       lungs.)

Do it again!

                       (BERYL suddenly coughs and spits out water and breathes with a
                       labored effort.

                                         GAR
God! He’s breathing!

                       (ROGENE again pushes GAR out of the way to kneel down
                       beside BERYL and tend to him. SELENA gets up and moves
                       away quietly and sits. SHOPIERRE crosses to sit and meditate.
                       OPAL runs to get a towel from inside. GAR moves back to the
                       garden. All are quiet and exhausted from the scare.)

                                       ROGENE
                          (sitting up and hugging FERRIS)
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You saved my boy! You are like her. You are
like Helen! Thank you, Ferris.




                                          83
                                                               Born With A Veil 84


                      (OPAL returns with a towel and kneels to give it to ROGENE to
                      dry BERYL.)

                                         CAL
                                (sits next to FERRIS)
How’d you do that?

                                        FERRIS
What?

                                         CAL
How’d you know he was alive?

                                        FERRIS
Didn’t you see his light?

                                            CAL
I couldn’t see anything. But you saved him. You saved my buddy. (putting his arm
around her briefly) I guess I ain’t callin’ you a runt no more.

                                      BERYL
                                      (weakly)
Hey, buddy boy.

                                         CAL
Hey, buddy. Quit scaring me like that!! You almost drowned.

                                        BERYL
I did?

                                         CAL
How do you feel?

                                        BERYL
Lousy.

                                         CAL
Ferris knew you were alive.

                                       OPAL
She saw your aura, Beryl. She saved your life!

                                        BERYL
The Wonder Girl. I knew she liked me.




                                          84
                                                                     Born With A Veil 85


                                         FERRIS
I do not.

                       (FERRIS turns away from the boys.)

                                            GAR
                                    (infront of FERRIS)
You!…..you saved his life.

                                       SHOPIERRE
The guide and the one.

                                        ROGENE
Do you have any tea?

                                          OPAL
I believe we do.

                       (OPAL crosses to fetch the little packet of tea.)

                                        ROGENE
I’m going to need some for Beryl.

                                         FERRIS
Chamomile tea. For his lungs.

                                        ROGENE
How much?

                                          OPAL
Uh…..(looking to FERRIS) a penny?

                       (ROGENE gives a penny to OPAL for the chamomile. GAR
                       steps forward.)

                                     GAR
Huh, my ma … she … ah wanted that dandelion root. I guess I … have any of that?

                                          OPAL
Right here.

                                           GAR
How much?

                                          OPAL
Six cents.



                                            85
                                                                 Born With A Veil 86



                                          GAR
I’ll take it.

                        (GAR pays OPAL a penny and the buffalo nickel.)

                                         OPAL
Cal? I got your buffalo nickel back.


                        (OPAL gives CAL the nickel.)

                                          CAL
Thanks, Opal.

                        (ROGENE has been helping BERYL up. GAR goes to help,
                        followed by CAL. OPAL crosses down to FERRIS to give her
                        the two pennies.)

                                       ROGENE
Beryl, we have to get you home to rest. Gar? Cal? Will you help me?

                                          OPAL
                                       (to FERRIS)
Look, I made you two pennies.

                                        FERRIS
One of them is yours.

                                         OPAL
Mine?

                                        FERRIS
Well, you sold them.

                                       OPAL
Gee, I made a penny today. I wonder how much we can make tomorrow? My mom
and dad are not going to believe me when I tell them what happened today. I’ll see you
later.

                        (ROGENE has moved to sit by SELENA for a moment.)

                                        ROGENE
Ferris saved him.




                                           86
                                                                    Born With A Veil 87


                                        SELENA
He’ll be fine.

                                        ROGENE
Yes, he will. Will you?

                                        SELENA
What?

                                      ROGENE
Be fine. She is like Helen, you know. And just like Helen, the only one she needs, is
you.

                      (ROGENE exits. SELENA gets up to cross in the same position
                      as in the dream. SHOPIERRE holds the piece of paper in his
                      hand just as he had in the dream.)

                                     SHOPIERRE
I know you are there, Selena. (Pause.) I feel your heart. It is broken.

                      (SELENA takes a step away. SHOPIERRE holds up the piece of
                      paper.)

Take her words.

                                         SELENA
                               (realizing this is the dream)
I don’t want them.

                                  SHOPIERRE
Moonstone and amethyst are a powerful combination.

                                        SELENA
                                     (turning away)
I don’t want it.

                                      SHOPIERRE
Accept it.

                                        SELENA
I can’t accept it.

                                      SHOPIERRE
You are afraid.




                                            87
                                                                    Born With A Veil 88


                                          SELENA
I am not afraid of you!

                                        SHOPIERRE
It is not me that you fear. It is the one born with a veil.

                        (SHOPIERRE holds up the piece of paper. SELENA, after a
                        moment, crosses to take the paper. FERRIS watches.)

Your nightmares will end now.

                                      SELENA
“Dear One: I am gone but you are here. I have lived as long as I am supposed to. It is
my time. Understand I am always with you. Understand I will always love you. I have
left behind my book for you. Carry the knowledge and do not be afraid. Amethyst and
moonstone are a powerful combination for the guide and the one” …. it stops.

                                          FERRIS
… born with a veil.

                                          SELENA
What?

                                        FERRIS
                             (showing SELENA the book)
Here. It’s here in her book. The first page. That’s the first page. Look.

                        (FERRIS takes the piece of paper and shows SELENA how it fits
                        in the book.)

                                     SELENA
For the guide and the one…born with a veil.

                        (FERRIS takes the page and crosses and sits fitting the page in to
                        place.)

                                     SHOPIERRE
Helen gave this to me right before she passed. She told me to give it to you when the
time had come. The time has come, hasn’t it Selena?

                                      SELENA
The time was ten years ago. I needed this ten years ago. If you knew she was sick, you
should have told me. We could have prevented her death.

                                    SHOPIERRE
We could have prevented nothing. It was her time.


                                             88
                                                                     Born With A Veil 89



                                      SELENA
I could have done something. I could have saved her.

                                     SHOPIERRE
We accept her death for what is was. No one’s fault.

                                       SELENA
It was too soon. She left me alone, Shopierre. You left me alone.

                                       SHOPIERRE
You were not alone.

                                         SELENA
There was no one to help me.

                                       SHOPIERRE
Your help has been with you all along. Your children. They are the ones who sustain
our lives. They are the one who accept us as we are. Accept them for who they are.
The girl has the gift, as Helen had the gift. Use your strength. It is your hand that will
guide her. But you must remove your barriers and accept what you’ve known all along.

                       (SHOPIERRE exits. After a moment, SELENA pulls out the two
                       stones she had taken the night before and sits by FERRIS.)

                                         FERRIS
My stones.

                                    SELENA
Your stones. Do you know what kind they are?

                                         FERRIS
Amethyst and moonstone.

                                         SELENA
Do you know what they do?

                                        FERRIS
Well, you asked me not to even hint at this stuff ever again or I’d be in lots of trouble.

                                        SELENA
I was quite angry with you. I’m still angry with you. You have done some pretty awful
things behind my back, taking Aunt Helen’s book, sneaking out of the house at night,
performing the trance, and all the while not fully understanding what you were doing.
(pause) But now, I know what is happening, and I have to figure out what the heck to do
about it.



                                             89
                                                                    Born With A Veil 90


                                       FERRIS
I didn’t mean to go behind your back. I just knew that every time I tried to talk to you
about Aunt Helen, you’d get very sad.

                                         SELENA
From now on, you can ask me questions. And I promise, I will answer them. That’s
what I’m supposed to do, as your mother. (after a moment) I should have told you a
long time ago about Helen, the herbs, her intuitions and her death. I didn’t want you to
be like her. I didn’t want to lose you the way I lost her. But in truth….

                                        FERRIS
I am like her. I am the one, the one born with a veil.

                                       SELENA
                           (slowly removing her necklace)
Yes. Yes, you are. And this is your first lesson.

                                            FERRIS
My first lesson?

                                       SELENA
You see the colors of light around people.

                                      FERRIS
The auras? I’ve always seen them. I just didn’t know what they were.

                                            SELENA
And what color are you?

                                            FERRIS
I don’t have a color. It’s just ….bright.

                                           SELENA
It’s called crystal. It’s the color of the healer. One who channels energy to help others.
Helen was a crystal….And it’s time for you to learn these many many things.

                                            FERRIS
How do you know all these things?

                                     SELENA
I am the moonstone. The guide. The teacher.

                                        FERRIS
                               (holding up the moonstone)
This is your stone.



                                              90
                                                                  Born With A Veil 91


                                         SELENA
It is my stone.

                                          FERRIS
I’m an amethyst.

                                      SELENA
The healer. The seer. The one. (taking the book gently from FERRIS) There is much
to do. These pages must be put back in order.

                                          FERRIS
There’s a lot of pages.

                                       SELENA
 Together, we’ll get it done….for an amethyst and a moonstone are a powerful
combination.

                          (SELENA gives her a hug. FERRIS gathers the pages to put
                          back together.)


                                (Lights dim and end of play.)




                                             91
                                                                            Born With A Veil 92


                                    BORN WITH A VEIL

                                             Synopsis

A mother's acceptance of her child's gifts, no matter how dangerous or different the gifts may
be, is the center of this story. Selena, the mother, had the past experience of guiding her twin
sister, Helen's, psychic intuitions. Helen had helped others as a healer and a seer in a small
remote town near the Catawbe River in South Carolina during the 1930's. Since the girls had
been teenagers, they had been taught about the healing powers of herbs and stones by a Shaman,
Shopierre. Selena has since brushed aside her psychic intuitions since the death of her twin
sister, Helen. The story begins ten years later with Selena's twins, a boy, Cal and a girl, Ferris,
who are celebrating their 13th birthday and starting to show signs of being psychic, just as their
Aunt Helen.

A dream sequence sets up the inner struggle of acceptance with Selena. The next morning
brings Ferris outside to find a gift of an aloe plant left anonymously. Selena knows who the
plant is from and warns both children to stay away from strangers.

Opal, Ferris' best friend, enters to give Ferris a present, a piece of paper that instructs them how
to do a psychic test with a deck of cards. Ferris believes that Cal is the one who should take the
psychic test for he saved a boy's life yesterday from choking. The whole town is talking about
Cal, the Wonder Boy. Opal wishes that Ferris, too, would take the test. Cal enters and Beryl
shows up to tease the girls. Rogene enters to pick up Selena for work. After being egged on,
Cal tells Rogene, the color of her aura. Blue. He is right, for Helen told Rogene her aura was
blue a long time ago. Selena shares a moment with the history that Rogene was a mid-wife and
helped deliver Selena's twins years ago. Rogene knows which of the babies was born with a
veil and may truly have psychic intuitions.

The Shaman tells the kids about a trance that would awaken their third eye, their psychic
intuitions. Ferris and Opal sneak out of their homes at midnight to perform the ritual. Opal and
Ferris decide to perform the trance. They are discovered by Gar, Rogene, Selena and the
Shaman. Selena awakens Ferris from the trance and warns her of this involvement with psychic
powers and does not want her to have any part of it anymore.

However, Selena must decide to assist Ferris who believes that Beryl is still alive after his
lifeless body has been taken from the river. Ferris is unsure how to help Beryl. But Selena, as
the 'guide' knows what to do and together the two save Beryl's life. Selena accepts that her
daughter has the similar psychic intuitions as Helen had. Selena will teach Ferris how to control
her visions and not repeat the fate of her sister, Helen.

Act I
Scene 1 Dream.
Scene 2 Early Morning.
Scene 3 Noon
Scene 4 Midnight

Act II
Scene 1 Dream.
Scene 2 The next day.



                                                92
                                                                            Born With A Veil 93




                                    BORN WITH A VEIL

                                             Synopsis

A mother's acceptance of her child's gift is the center of this story. Set in the remote foothills of
South Carolina during the Great Depression, Selena must choose to recognize the unusual gift
of psychic intuitions now being discovered by her 13 year-old twins. The guilt and the sorrow
from her twin sister's untimely death, forces Selena to repress the new found feelings in her
children. The Shaman, having heard of the boy, Cal, saving a life, has returned to the town to
teach the 'one born with a veil', just as he had taught Selena and her sister, years ago, how to
interpret and understand psychic abilities. Selena tries to deny the signs to protect her children
making sure that history does not repeat its tragic self.




                                                 93

				
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